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Talking with Extinction Rebellion

This piece appeared in the XR Totnes & Area January newsletter:
Hello, I wanted to write to you as Liberal Democrat candidate for the Totnes & South Devon constituency. For those that don't know me, I moved here in 2007 after many years working in London and across Europe. Having been widowed with two very young children, I felt the need to leave the city and raise my girls somewhere more rural, where nature could help us heal. It did that, and I have spent 15 very happy years in and around Totnes. One of the things that has driven me to stand for parliament is my anger at the way our current government continues to side-line environmental concerns, and even undo some of the progress that was being made in terms of renewable energy. I am appalled at the way the environmental crisis has not even featured in Rishi Sunak’s priorities, and the way our current MP Anthony Mangnall refuses to engage properly with the huge risks around climate change and nature depletion. I served as an MEP for SW England & Gibraltar and was privileged to sit on the Environment Committee. I'm passionate about protecting it and working to halt the shocking eradication of biodiversity we've seen in the UK. I realise my direction of travel has been very different to many in XR, but I share your aims - to ensure that nature and climate are top of the agenda, especially here in the beautiful southwest. Fighting for this will be a priority for me, both locally and nationally. I have the skills to ensure that environmental investment also means success for agriculture and our coastal and marine sectors - we can ensure these sectors thrive if they are sustainable. I believe that sensible joined up policies with climate and nature at their heart can benefit everyone. Which is why I and my party supports the Climate & Ecology Bill. It is absolutely crucial that the next General Election brings much needed positive change. There are a thousand reasons why, but top of the list has to be the lack of meaningful action on environmental concerns. This is an issue we all know we have to take seriously, right now. We need to elect politicians who are ready to make those choices and we need to ensure that everyone who supports climate action can come together behind candidates who are unafraid to grasp this sustainable future - in fact the only future that bears thinking about. Too much time has already passed, too many ambitions and empty promises have been broken - now is the time for transforming the economy into a truly green economy, and to tackle the climate crisis with courage and conviction. The bigger picture is all that matters now. As someone who believes in true democracy I also want to see a government elected that takes seriously a commitment to foreign aid and supporting those who will be most affected by climate change in the Global South. After all, we are all humans who have the same rights to share this planet. I recognise that as we all see our precious environment put at risk every day, the emotional toll on people who care passionately about climate and nature can be heavy. I just wanted to let you know that I feel this too, and to reassure you I will be fighting through democratic means for a better approach on climate and nature - for all our sakes. If you’d like to support my campaign please get in touch with me at hello@carolinevoaden.com Thank you and best wishes Caroline

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